02/24/2007 1:00AM

Options narrowed for Street Sense


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Carl Nafzger has been playing it close to the vest when it comes to revealing where his Eclipse Award winner Street Sense will make his 3-year-old debut. Nafzger did open up just a bit on Saturday morning when he ruled out the 7 1/2-furlong Hutcheson Stakes here and cited the Tampa Bay Derby (March 17) or Rushaway Stakes (March 24) at Turfway Park as the two most likely options.

Street Sense breezed an easy half-mile in 49.20 seconds at the Palm Meadows training center on Saturday. The drill was just a prelude to a more serious work on Tuesday, when regular rider Calvin Borel will fly in from Kentucky to put Street Sense through his paces.

"The work went perfectly today," Nafzger said on Saturday. "He did it easily. The clocker said he got his final eighth in 11.60. What he did this morning, though, was just a little tightener for Tuesday when Calvin will come in to work him. [The move is] much the same as if I was running a horse on Tuesday - I'd blow him out an easy half like this on Saturday."

Nafzger had originally mentioned the Grade 2 Hutcheson on Saturday as a possible starting point for Street Sense, who has not raced since his big win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

"I'll know a lot more what we'll do after Tuesday, but the Hutcheson is definitely out," said Nafzger. "I just don't want him to get hooked in a sprint like that by horses who have already run and are fit, ready, and talented. I don't want to knock the bottom out of this colt after all the work we've done with him so far this winter."

Layoff no problem for Pletcher colt

Twilight Meteor, idle since winning the Bourbon Stakes over the Keeneland Polytrack on Oct. 27, returned to the turf to register a half-length decision over Sedgefield in Saturday's $100,000 Hallandale Beach Stakes.

Ridden by Edgar Prado, Twilight Meteor rated just off the early pace and ran down Sedgefield in the final sixteenth of the 1 1/16-mile Hallandale Beach. Sedgefield gained command from Dippi Trippi around the second turn and forged clear in early stretch. Le Dauphin, who drew into the race from the also-eligible list, rallied to finish third.

Soldier Dancer, the 2-1 favorite in a well-matched field of 12 3-year-olds, had to take up while near the rear of the pack approaching the stretch, and rallied to finish fourth.

Despite earning a 97 Beyer in his 2-year-old finale and hailing from the barn of Todd Pletcher, Twilight Meteor paid a generous $15.

"Layoffs are overrated," said Pletcher. "We've pointed for this race all along, but since he's won on the Polytrack we may consider bringing him to Turfway for the Lane's End March 24. If not, we'll run him here on the grass the same day in the Palm Beach."

Stormello still possible for Fountain

Stormello, who has not started since finishing fifth after contesting the early pace in the BC Juvenile, worked five furlongs in 58.20 seconds at Hollywood Park on Saturday and remains a potential starter in next Saturday's Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes.

Trainer Bill Currin has told track officials he still hopes to make flight arrangements to bring Stormello from Southern California to Florida for the Fountain of Youth. Stormello, winner of the Grade 2 Norfolk Breeders' Cup at 2, will be part of a field expected to include leading Kentucky Derby contender Nobiz Like Shobiz, along with Scat Daddy, Drums of Thunder, Adore the Gold, and Buffalo Man.

Diabolical set for Richter Scale

Diabolical worked five furlongs in 58 seconds on Saturday in his final serious prep for Saturday's Grade 2 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Diabolical has not started since finishing a game second behind Thor's Echo in the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial on Nov. 25.

Other potential starters for the Richter Scale include Nar, Dark Cheetah, Mach Ride, Bright One, and Park Avenue Ball.

Quiet Royal ambitiously placed

Quiet Royal will skip a condition but still looms the one to beat in Monday's $49,500 allowance feature for fillies and mares on the turf.

Quiet Royal is eligible for her second-level allowance condition but steps up against three-other-than opposition for trainer Todd Pletcher on Monday. A Group 3 winner in France at 2, Quiet Royal finished third making her U.S. bow in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last fall before being overmatched in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. She launched her 2007 campaign by finishing second, a length behind the suddenly red-hot Beautiful Danielle, under second-level allowance conditions here on Jan. 27.

The main opposition may come from Praia Da Pipa, who has been second in her last two starts at this level. Also in the field is Emma's Candy, Royal Pleasure, Regina Madre, and Vue de Chat.

In the co-featured seventh race, Grade 2 winner Devil's Preacher drops into allowance company and will meet up with old nemesis R Installment. Devil's Preacher finished second to R Installment under entry-level allowance conditions at Aqueduct in November.

Devil's Preacher won Calder's Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap in a race taken off the turf and decided over a sloppy main track.

* Hesanoldsalt worked four furlongs in 47.80 seconds at Palm Meadows on Saturday in preparations for Saturday's Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap. The work was the second fastest at the distance on the morning's tab. Hesanoldsalt is coming off a second-place finish behind Horse of the Year Invasor in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap.

* Round Pond continues to progress nicely for her anticipated 2007 debut in the Grade 2 Rampart Handicap on March 11, breezing five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 at Palm Meadows on Saturday.